Politics over Tipu Sultan Jayanti

CM criticises BJP leaders for their refusal to be part of the event

Celebration of Tipu Sultan Jayanti by the State government on November 10 has become a issue of contention between the the ruling Congress and the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday lashed out at BJP leaders, including Union Minister of State for Skill Development Ananth Kumar Hegde and MP Shobha Karandlaje, for their refusal to be part of the event.

He told presspersons here that “as part of the government, he (Mr. Ananth Kumar Hegde) shouldn’t have written it (letter to State government) . It is not correct. It is being made into a political issue. There were four wars against the British and Tipu fought them all.”

Reacting to Mr. Hegde’s letter asking to not include his name in the celebrations, Mr. Siddaramaiah said that invitations would be sent to all Central and State leaders and it is up to them to accept or reject it.

The State government has decided to celebrate Tipu Sultan Jayanti in a grand manner. Since 2015, the Congress-led State government has been celebrating it, which has been opposed by the BJP. Following opposition to the event, violence took place in Kodagu district in 2015. In 2016, the government shifted the responsibility for organising the celebrations from the Minority Department to the Kannada and Culture Department, to make it a cultural event.

In a letter to Chief Minister’s Secretariat and Uttara Kannada Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Hegde on Friday asked them to not include his name in the list of invitees for the programme. Mr. Hegde’s office requested the Chief Secretary to inform all departments concerned with the celebrations to not include his name in the invitations.

‘Individual call’

Several senior BJP leaders on Saturday decided to join the boycott. MP Karandlaje and former Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok said that they would not participate in the celebrations. However, State BJP president B.S. Yeddyurappa clarified that the leaders’ stand was their individual call. When quizzed as to whether it was also the party’s official stand, Mr. Yeddyurappa declined to comment.

Mr. Ashok came down heavily on the State government for organising Tipu Jayanti, which he termed was “ a deliberate attempt to stoke communal tensions in the State”.

Ms. Karandlaje termed it “a blatant attempt at vote bank politics by the ruling Congress.” She also claimed that a majority of district police officials had tried to convince the State government not to hold Tipu Jayanti functions in view of the law and order situation but the government was ‘adamant’.

Our Tumkur Staff Reporter reports:

Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Tanveer Sait told reporters in Tumakuru on Saturday that the jayanti of many eminent personalities is being celebrated in the State for the past years and “we have not opposed any celebration.” Protocol demands that the names of all elected representatives be mentioned in the invitation cards but Mr. Ananth Kumar Hegde writing a letter stating that his name should not be mentioned in the cards “is an insult to the democratic system.”

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Printable version | May 21, 2022 9:28:06 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/politics-over-tipu-sultan-jayanti/article19895615.ece